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28 countries drawn to Phuket relaunch

28 countries drawn to Phuket relaunch

BANGKOK: Tourists from 28 countries have expressed interest in visiting Phuket after the government has agreed to waive the mandatory quarantine for vaccinated foreign visitors, according to tourism operators in the province.

COVID-19tourismeconomics
By Bangkok Post

Sunday 4 April 2021, 09:55AM


Promthep Cape, one of the island’s best-known locations, hopes to see large numbers of local tourists soon. Photo: Bangkok Post

Promthep Cape, one of the island’s best-known locations, hopes to see large numbers of local tourists soon. Photo: Bangkok Post

In July, Phuket will be the first province to waive the quarantine requirement for foreign visitors who have been vaccinated, as part of the government’s plan to reopen the country.

Bhummikitti Raktaengam, president of the Phuket Tourist Association, said even though foreign tourists have shown interest it remains to be seen if they can proceed with their visit plans which will be approved by authorities in their own countries.

Among 28 countries were tourists from China, Singapore, Russia, the UK and Germany  known as frequent travellers to Phuket.

He said the province is expected to welcome 150,000 foreign visitors from July to September with an estimated income of B30 billion. The high season for the resort island usually starts in mid-October.

However, Mr Bhummikitti said that despite the agreement to allow vaccinated tourists in without quarantine, provincial authorities will submit details to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) for approval.

"The details involve what documents they need, what they are supposed to do while being in Phuket, and if their vaccines are endorsed. We have to take the health safety of local people into consideration too," he said.

The province must inoculate at least 70% of its population (460,000 people) to create herd immunity. Around 920,000-930,000 doses are needed to achieve such a goal, he said.

ZENITHY POOL VILLAS

Mr Bhummikitti, however, said the reduction of the mandatory isolation period from 14 days to seven days which took effect on April 1, is unlikely to revive the general tourism industry.

"Those who are likely to visit are businessmen or people who have families in Thailand. We have a survey indicating that foreign tourists are turned away by quarantine," he said.

On Saturday, Thai Airways’ first flight from Germany’s Frankfurt ‒ flight TG921 ‒ touched down at Suvarnabhumi airport, the first since an international travel lockdown started early last year when the pandemic broke out.

The flight carried 130 German tourists. Among them, 16 German travellers flew from there to Phuket. It is unknown if the others were transit passengers. The next flight will be on May 7.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said the government hopes to complete its vaccination programme to target groups in 77 provinces by the end of this month.

Speaking during the PM Podcast programme, he said that 800,000 doses manufactured by China’s Sinovac will be distributed to target populations in the provinces.

Of total, 300,000 will be given to people in the outbreak areas, 300,000 doses to tourism and border provinces and the remaining 200,000 doses to the rest.

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Capricornball | 04 April 2021 - 19:29:44

Once again...pretty rosy numbers from Phuket Tourist Assn. To meet the goal of 30 billion THB, each of the 150,000 project visitors will need to spend an average of $6,666 USD. But whatever, the prospect of Phuket brimming with Chinese and Russian tourists again makes me really excited, and there's already a noticeable increase in speeding aggressive taxis. Next, get the sewage flowing again.
...

cyberspider | 04 April 2021 - 13:00:17

nice. I will wait until vaccines are not mandatory though.

Fascinated | 04 April 2021 - 11:40:32

''Great' move- no masks or social distancing in the photo.

 

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